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Local health official weighs in on poor air quality in Iowa

Published: Aug. 3, 2021 at 9:55 PM CDT
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OTTUMWA, Iowa (KYOU) -

Air quality alerts have been posted several times throughout the past couple of weeks throughout Iowa.

U.S. West and Midwest as wildfire smoke continues to linger over much of the country leaving lingering smoke in the air.

Wildfires emit huge volumes of microscopic smoke particles that researchers say can be harmful if breathed in, leading to both immediate and long-term health impacts. Children, the elderly, and people with underlying health conditions are particularly at risk.

Nurse practitioner at Mahaska Health Arthur Zacharjasz says it’s important to check the daily air quality index to see if you may be at risk. He says on a day like Tuesday when the air quality is moderate this could affect those with sensitivities.

”Air pollution can affect lung development and has been implicated in the development of diseases emphysema, asthma and pulmonary obstructive diseases,” Zacharjasz shared. “Think about spending more time indoors where pollution levels are lower. You can choose easier outdoor activities. For example if you were going to run, you could walk so you don’t breath as hard. The harder you breathe the more pollution that you breathe in,” he further explained.

He also advised to be cautious of indoor air pollutions as well. This can include candle burning, use of gas or propane, wood burning stoves, and frying and broiling meats - all things that can add to indoor air pollutions.

Now, if you’re experiencing any heightened symptoms due to the air quality Zacharjasz says to not wait until the last minute to see your doctor.

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